ti·​dy | \ ˈtī-dē How to pronounce tidy (audio) \
tidier; tidiest

Definition of tidy

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : neat and orderly in appearance or habits : well ordered and cared for
b : methodical, precise a tidy mind
2 : large, substantial a tidy profit
3 : adequately satisfactory : acceptable, fair a tidy solution to their problem
4 : properly filled out : plump


tidied; tidying

Definition of tidy (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to put in order tidy up a room

intransitive verb

: to make things tidy tidying up after supper


plural tidies

Definition of tidy (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a usually compartmentalized receptacle for various small objects
2 : a piece of fancywork used to protect the back, arms, or headrest of a chair or sofa from wear or soil

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Other Words from tidy


tidily \ ˈtī-​də-​lē How to pronounce tidily (audio) \ adverb
tidiness \ ˈtī-​dē-​nəs How to pronounce tidiness (audio) \ noun


tidier noun

Examples of tidy in a Sentence

Adjective He has always been a tidy person. She earns a tidy salary. They paid a tidy sum for the house. Verb I tidied the house before they arrived.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Maintaining a tidy home and containing food sources will help manage the problem, and Bozarjian said bait and powders will work quickly in these conditions. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Have that gnawing feeling you’re not alone?," 31 Jan. 2020 The second-movement Larghetto was appropriately restrained, but the finale was harried, even frantic. Exposed high writing for violins in the outer movements wasn’t always tidy. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Guest conductor Jader Bignamini pumps up the Dallas Symphony with lots of decibels," 17 Jan. 2020 Officers responded to reports of a shooting on the 1800 block of Osage Avenue, a residential neighborhood of tidy ranch-style homes, at 5:23 a.m., according to a post on the Hayward Police Department’s Facebook page. Carolyn Said, SFChronicle.com, "Man shot in Hayward’s first homicide of 2020," 12 Jan. 2020 Reid could have let Emira belatedly rocket to the same professional heights that her friends achieve—a modern-day happy ending equivalent to marrying them all off—but that would be too tidy. Stephanie Hayes, The Atlantic, "Such a Fun Age Satirizes the White Pursuit of Wokeness," 8 Jan. 2020 There is no tidy resolution to the story of the frying pan that hit Flossie Spencer in the face. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "A Midtown hotel melee, a permanent scar and an endless quest for criminal charges," 20 Jan. 2020 Morehead is spending nearly half a million dollars on the additional infrastructure, a tidy sum for a city with a budget of less than $17 million and just 7,000 people. Alfred Miller, The Courier-Journal, "KentuckyWired promised broadband and high-tech jobs. Will it ever deliver?," 15 Jan. 2020 This autonomous region of Spain lying along the Bay of Biscay, dense with trees that run up hillsides, dotted by wild marshland, and scalloped with tidy beaches, isn’t located between Madrid and Barcelona. Chiara Goia, National Geographic, "Discover why this stunning region is Spain’s best-kept secret," 14 Dec. 2019 Hosts and hostesses work tirelessly to conceptualize menus, tidy their home, and ensure that everyone has a smile on their face during holiday parties. Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored, "20 host and hostess gifts that are better than a fruit basket," 9 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Virgo, an Earth sign ruled by Mercury, is known for its organization skills, which means that Monday is the perfect day to tidy up any messes made during retrograde. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "Your Guide to the First Mercury Retrograde of 2020," 26 Jan. 2020 This allows more focus on prepping the main course or provides extra time to tidy up the kitchen. Claire Perez, sun-sentinel.com, "Claire’s tip of the week: Bisque an easy first course," 27 Nov. 2019 Organization and tidying have their time and place, but there is joy in consumerism, and Kondo is clearly embracing that, too. Rachel Metz, CNN, "I spent $200 on Marie Kondo's new online store to spark joy. Here's what I learned," 27 Nov. 2019 The academy also has a stage apartments where students can practice making meals for themselves, tidying up and doing laundry. Kathleen Mcwilliams, courant.com, "At Ädelbrook’s Barkery and recently expanded transitional academies, students find support and skills for life," 6 Dec. 2019 With Rocket Republic Brewing’s Huntsville location finally opening, Mark Hogan plans to tidy his now ZZ Top worthy facial-hair. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Alabama brewery opens new Huntsville location," 5 Dec. 2019 In 2019, her Netflix show debuted and helped further transform the queen of organization into an icon for tidying up homes and lives with calm consistency. Raisa Bruner, Time, "The 10 Best Memes of 2019," 22 Nov. 2019 Participants pinned banners, balloons and red-white-and-blue flags to cars, and motorcycle crews revved their bikes as veterans tidied their uniforms and got into formation. Tatiana Sanchez, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco Veterans Day Parade a ‘celebration of service’," 10 Nov. 2019 After all, isn't having someone making your bed, not to mention tidying up your room, one of the pleasures of taking a vacation? Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "Our Easy Tipping Etiquette Guide Tells You How Much to Tip in Every Situation," 6 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Save $100: The best affordable smart robot vacuum (Photo: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan) Want to keep your home tidy for when the guests arrive this holiday season? Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "The 5 best Amazon Black Friday deals you can get right now," 23 Nov. 2019 Volunteer for Clean Valley Council’s annual spring cleanup to keep the forest tidy for resident turtles and salamanders. Caitlin Etherton, National Geographic, "Visit the real-life forests that inspired these famous books," 15 Apr. 2019 The appeal of my WeWork space is fairly obvious: Someone else maintains the free coffee, waters the plants, and tidies up the sun dappled work spaces. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—Why WeWork Has to Pay Up for Rapid Growth," 25 Apr. 2018 The most popular affordable robot vacuum A good robot vacuum can help you keep your home tidy between deep cleanings, and the Eufy RoboVac 11+ is the #1 best-selling robot vacuum on Amazon right now. Samantha Gordon, USA TODAY, "These are the 5 best Amazon deals for the first day of spring," 20 Mar. 2018 The truth escapes them that within a month, their designer efforts will be covered in old pizza boxes and dirty clothes exactly like the other rooms -- until mom shows up a day early for homecoming and tidies things up a bit. Beth Thames, AL.com, "Oprah for president? She's served her country already," 10 Jan. 2018 YOUR PROPERTY TIDY Have the lawn mowed, the plants watered and the pool cleaned. Ronda Kaysen, New York Times, "How to Protect Your House When You’re on Vacation," 14 July 2017 Buy Photo Erica Tunnell’s tidy row home in the Overbrook section of the city was swarmed Saturday by environmental activists, students and public health experts. Chris Mondics, Philly.com, "Activists, community groups test for lead," 24 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tidy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tidy


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4


1821, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


circa 1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tidy


Middle English, timely, in good condition, from tide time

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Time Traveler for tidy

Time Traveler

The first known use of tidy was in the 13th century

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Statistics for tidy

Last Updated

6 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tidy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tidy. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for tidy

How to pronounce tidy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tidy

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: clean and organized : not messy
: keeping things clean and organized
informal, of an amount of money : fairly large



English Language Learners Definition of tidy (Entry 2 of 3)

: to make (something) tidy : to make (something) clean and organized



English Language Learners Definition of tidy (Entry 3 of 3)

British : a container for storing small items
ti·​dy | \ ˈtī-dē How to pronounce tidy (audio) \
tidier; tidiest

Kids Definition of tidy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : well ordered and cared for : neat
2 : large, substantial a tidy sum

Other Words from tidy

tidiness noun


tidied; tidying

Kids Definition of tidy (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make things neat

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More from Merriam-Webster on tidy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tidy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tidy

Spanish Central: Translation of tidy

Nglish: Translation of tidy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tidy for Arabic Speakers

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